Venus & Serena Williams: Venus Sits Out, Serena Makes a Quick Recovery

It seems that both Venus and Serena Williams have withdrawn from the Australia Open, each for their own unique health concerns. The withdrawal of both sisters from the open came as a shock to many fans, but considering the sisters' circumstances, the withdrawals aren't unexpected.

Venus Williams life-changing diagnosis

Venus Williams surprised fans when she dropped out of the U.S. Women's Open. Venus had discovered a few months prior to dropping out of the U.S. Women's Open that she suffered from an incurable auto-immune disorder known as Sjogren's syndrome. The condition had Venus and her doctors baffled for months as to what was causing the young tennis star's seemingly inexplicable symptoms and pain. Venus attempted to re-enter the world of tennis, but surprised fans yet again when she withdrew from the Australia Open.

Venus Williams announced to the world that for her 2012 New Years resolution, that she was going to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. The new diet is believed to help provide those who suffer from Sjogren's syndrome relief from some of the symptoms of the disorder. Sister Serena joined Venus and made a resolution of her own to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle as well. (See my article, "Venus and Serena Williams Adopt Vegetarian Lifestyle for the New Year")

Serena Williams' twist of bad luck

While competing at the Brisbane Internation, tennis superstar Serena Williams landed hard, injuring her left ankle. (See my article, "Serena Williams Injures Left Ankle: Treating and Preventing Ankle Injuries") Even with the injury, Serena still won the match. There was a great deal of concern among spectators, as well as those involved with Serena, that her ankle may require a prolonged period of healing. Thankfully, this wasn't the case and Serena performed well during her opening match at the Australia Open.

*Samantha Van Vleet is a former high school athlete. She enjoys keeping up with current sports-related news and has a special interest in the areas of health and wellness as they pertain to sports and athletics.

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Updated Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012